Amin Maalouf

(1949- )

Maalouf was born in Beirut,
Lebanon, in 1949 to Catholic parents. His father, Rushdi Maalouf, was a teacher, journalist and writer. Amin Maalouf also is a Lebanese journalist and writer. At age 22, he traveled in India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Yemen and Algeria and covered wars and conflicts as a journalist for an-Nahar, the daily Beirut newspaper. The civil war in Lebanon drove him to France in 1977, where he has lived ever since with his family He was director of the weekly international edition of the Beirut daily newspaper, an-Nahar, and editor-in-chief of Jeune Afrique.

Maalouf writes in French. Most of his books have a historical setting; his first book, The Crusades through Arab Eyes, was published in 1983. In this book he uses Arab accounts to bring a new perspective to understanding of the Crusades.

Smarkand was written in 1989. It is set in Samarkand in the 11th century and combines fact and fiction around the history of the manuscript of the Rubaiyyat of Omar Khayyam..

In 1993 Maalouf was awarded the Prix Goncourt for his novel, The Rock of Tanios. The story is set in a 19th century village in the Lebanese mountains, a “passionate, resonant story of love, treachery and murder”.

His other books include:

Les Croisades Vues par les Arabes, 1983 - The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Leon Africain, 1986 - Leo the African (trans. by Peter Sluglett)
Samarcande, 1988 - Samarkand (trans. by Russell Harris)
Les Jardins des Lumieres, 1991 - The Gardens of Light (trans. by Dorothy S. Blair)
Le Premier Siecle Apres Beatrice, 1992 - The First Century After Beatrice (trans. by Dorothy S. Blair)
Le Rocher de Tanios, 1993 - The Rock of Tanios (trans. by Dorothy S. Blair)
Les Echelles du Levant, 1996 - Ports of Call (trans. by Alberto Manguel)
Le Periple de Baldassare, 2000 - Balthasar's Odyssey (trans. by Barbara Bray)